Landfill can become a source of raw materials
Around 100 billion new pieces of clothing are made each year. And by 2050 that number is likely to double. At the same time over 150 tons of clothing are dumped in landfill every minute. So if we want to change that we need to start figuring out how to make new clothes from the stuff we already have. While lots of the materials we work with start life in a cutting-edge lab or out in nature, the Garbage range comes from a huge pile of trash.
Meet the sweater built from old bulletproof vests
The Garbage Sweater takes old bulletproof vests and firefighter suits that were destined to spend the next few centuries on a rubbish pile, and transforms them into a warm, rugged, fire-resistant sweater. We picked bulletproof vests and firefighter suits because they’re built from aramid fibres that are some of the most challenging things in the world to get rid of at the end of their life. Because how on earth do you get rid of something that’s literally designed to not let you destroy it?
Re-using the toughest materials in the trash
Aramid fibres can stop fire, heat and bullets. Which is why you’ll find everyone from astronauts and F1 drivers to military pilots and tank operators wearing clothing built from meta-aramid. But they also come with a crazily long lifespan. So we decided to take these fibres and start work on turning them into other things, like sweaters, rather than let them rot in a pile for our great-great grandchildren to deal with.
It’s time to rethink trash
Designed to help rethink the role that garbage will play in Earth’s future, the Garbage range takes waste streams that were destined to spend the next few centuries on a rubbish pile and transforms them into clothing.
Our Garbage T Shirt tackles the other end of the waste problem
Of course if waste streams are going to become a viable source of raw materials, then we have to tackle the most common materials the world throws away. So the Garbage T Shirt takes old clothes and plastic bottles – two waste streams that were destined to spend the next few centuries on a rubbish pile – and transforms them into a soft, speckled t shirt. Lots of the materials that we’ve shredded and re-used were dyed in their previous lives, and it’s these leftover fragments of dye that show up as the hundreds of tiny coloured dots you can see on the t shirt’s surface. So each dot is a tiny bit of someone else’s old jeans, old hoodie, old sweater, or maybe even an old t shirt.
A first step towards building more complex technical clothing
Our Garbage Fleece is our first step towards building more complex technical clothing with as many details as possible sourced from waste streams. So it’s constructed with a fleecy outer layer made from bales of mechanically shredded old wool sweaters, and a soft inner lining from waste fabric. Even the zippers are made from waste materials. The teeth and sliders are recycled Nylon made from fabric scraps, and the zipper tape is recycled polyester which we get from old plastic bottles. And the elasticated cord adjusters are made with 50% plant waste from grain harvests.